If you don’t want your holiday bird to go up in flames, fire-safety experts have a few tips for you.
Thanksgiving is the top day of the year for home cooking fires, according to fire officials.
And, frying is a popular method for cooking a Thanksgiving turkey.
To avoid having the fire department as an unexpected holiday guest, the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration have a few tips — so any sparks you put out are around the table, not on the stove:
- If you roast or bake your turkey, set a timer and don’t leave the house while it’s in the oven. And make sure juices don’t spill onto the heating element.
- If you fry, broil or boil the bird, don’t wander away while it’s cooking. Keep the area around the stovetop free of flammable items such as paper towels, packaging and dish cloths. Keep a large pot lid or baking sheet nearby to smother any pan fires.
- If you’re using a fryer, make sure the oil doesn’t overheat. Use a thermometer to monitor the oil’s temperature. Thaw the turkey and dry it off completely before placing it into hot oil. Don’t overfill the pot with oil – that’s a serious fire hazard. Use heavy-duty gloves. Make sure children and pets stay at least three feet away from the fryer. And don’t fry the turkey indoors.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case.
The key to a safe turkey-frying experience is to make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dried off. Patting the outside of the turkey dry with paper towels is also a good idea, he said.
Finally, officials said those frying their turkey should put the fryer on a sturdy, flat surface such as a patio or concrete driveway — but it needs to be at least 10 feet from any combustible material.
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